Monday, March 31, 2014

A Poem, a Recipe, and Little House on the Prairie

We have been having a fun week with friends and visitors coming through the house.  It certainly helps keep our spirits warm, even when there is still snow (!) on the ground outside.  There's my 9 month old niece Grace, who is such a cutie pie and does little stunts like, during her nap here at our house, climbing out of her carseat, over the baracade that her mama built up out of couch cushions, and into the bathroom, all by her little self.  An adventurer like her parents, that one, and sweet as can be.  And there's Irene holding Clara, or Dorothy: hard to tell from the picture, and I never remember!  I guess Dorothy?  I think I'm holding Clara above, though.

This week, Zosia and Lily have taken on the personas of Mary and Laura from Little House on the Prairie, which means that Ben and I have been Ma and Pa (Hugo is Jack the bulldog, Clara is baby Carrie, and Dorothy is baby Grace.  See, there's a character for everyone!).  I have found myself saying things like, "Oh, Charles!  These prairie hens are delicious!" and that sort of thing, and there was actually one dinner where we convinced the children that in olden times, children were not permitted to speak (or sing, chant, hum, quarrel, etc) at the table and they actually complied.  What a strange dinner that was.  I must admit I prefer the chatter of little children.

Since Ben does not play the fiddle, like Pa, I have been convinced to play my flute every evening after dinner for dancing purposes.  I have never selected my repertoire based on dance-ability, and I must say, I like it!  There's nothing like playing music with two lively little ballerinas twirling around.

Zosia wrote a little poem for March, and (with her permission!) I thought I would share it here in honor of the last day of this crazy month, because it is just so darling.  When I asked if it was okay for me to share it on my blog she said, "I want to have many poems and be famous on your blog."  Alright, then!  Famous on my blog it is.

And Melissa inquired about Black Bean Brownies, which are an old school family favorite.  I know, I know, they sound crazy and weird, but they are really tasty, especially with the addition of chocolate chips!  Lily's godmother Lauren, who is a nutritionist, taught us the recipe, and we have shared it with many friends since!  So here is the recipe for your enjoyment and experimentation.

Bean Brownies

1 cup black or Romano beans, pureed with liquid
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon baking powder (I add this)
1/2 cup canola oil
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
* ~1 cup chocolate chips (I add these)
Non-stick spray

Spray a 13X9 inch baking pan with non-stick spray. In a mixing bowl,
combine beans, sugar, flour, cocoa, salt (and baking powder). Add oil,
eggs, and vanilla. Beat on low speed or by hand, scraping down sides of
bowl until smooth. Stir in walnuts (and chocolate chips). Pour batter
into prepared pan, spread into corners and smooth top. Bake at 350
degrees F for 30 minutes or until tester inserted into center comes out
clean. Cool in pan on wire rack. Makes 24 servings.


Melissa said...

I am not much of a cook, but I'll have to try this and tell you how it went! Thanks very much!

Angela said...

Will have to try these brownies they sound delicious!